THERE WHEN WE NEED HIM
Lord, I know You will be there when I need You.
Read ACTS 4:13–22
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me’ (Ps 23:4).
What stands out in today’s passage is the courage shown by Peter and John. They have just spent the night in jail for preaching about Jesus. However, once released, they boldly speak of Him again and flatly refuse to comply with the authorities’ command not to preach about Christ in the future, even though this could have meant being thrown back in jail.
I find it hard to imagine ever having such courage. Yet these disciples were not super-humans. Peter had in the past rashly declared he would die for Christ (Luke 22:33), but he fell far short of this when his pledge was tested, denying his Lord instead (Luke 22:54–62). Clearly, the Holy Spirit has changed him, now giving him the boldness he once lacked.
Does that mean that because we, too, have the Spirit, we will never experience fear? The reality is that the Spirit is not some magic bullet that prevents us from feeling afraid of anything that could happen in the future. Rather, the Spirit helps us when we need Him. Corrie ten Boom told a story which illustrates this. She was very concerned as a child that she would never be strong enough to die for Christ. Her father used an illustration to help her see that, just because she was not brave enough now, that did not mean she would lack the necessary courage if she ever found herself needing it. He reminded her that he did not give her the ticket money for a train journey weeks in advance but just before she boarded the train. He explained that, similarly, God gives us the strength we need to cope with troubles at the time we need it and not before (Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord, CLC, 1974, p125). This was certainly true for the disciples: when they really required it, God gave them buckets full of courage.
Are you fearful of any situations you face? Spend time thanking God that He will be there to give you help when you need it.
Lord, give us the anointing to witness for You and the boldness to stand up to the opposition.
Book and Author Intros
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.